…white is always right

I posted this on FB the other day and it got quite a bit of attention. So, I thought I’d post it here too because it’s a great example of how to DIY your dining room or kitchen. This is do-able. You can handle this. You could maybe handle this over a long weekend. Let’s take a look.

White rooms always work. Please don’t tell me that your kids will mess it up, blah, blah, blah. I have 3 little kids and plenty of white pieces. We don’t tip toe around furniture and accessories in our house. We love & live in it because it’s pretty. White just like any other color can be cleaned & wiped down. Brown pieces get just as dirty, people. And I have no problem dolling out “time-outs” if a juice box makes it into my living room! Besides all that, there’s not upholstery in this room.

So, back to the white thing. Take a look at this room.


Table. That table could have cost $50 at Goodwill or $100 on Craigslist. You have to look past the ugly brown and see what it can be. Find one, buy it. If it has details on it even better. If it does not and the legs are not broken & wobbly great. Don’t worry too much about scratches. Just make sure it’s in overall good condition. It does not have to be perfect. Don’t let your husband/roommate have an opinion and hold you back because they think “What is she thinking bringing that ugly piece into the house.”. Just do it. Dear Husband was so mad at me when I made him pick up 8 ugly kitchen chairs and now we’ve had them for years and use them every day.

Paint. You could use Annie Sloan or you could use a can of white spray paint that works on wood. If you are using spray paint do it outside. Sounds crazy for those of you that have not worked with it, but I used to spray paint everything when we had our first home – lamps, chairs, tables, etc. You could also use a Benjamin Moore type of paint. Be sure to ask your hardware store paint person that you are painting over wood.

Color. Paint it white. You will not mess up white. Any shade of white you like, but NOT CREAM. Cream is a bit more tricky to match and will look dingy if you are trying to create a white room. If you are using ASCP use Old White or Pure White. Spray & Can paint – pick a white and don’t stress too much about it. You are layering this room so there will be alot to look at and no one is going to notice if your paint is Ecru or Eggshell.

Chairs. Use what you’ve got, Love. Here’s hoping that you have some ugly, brown chairs that you are so sick of. Paint them the same white. Don’t tell your husband/roommate that you are doing this. Beg for forgiveness later when you reveal your new setting. Any type of chairs will do because you are bringing the look together by using the same paint on the table as you will use on the chairs.

Lighting. The chandelier will be a bit of icing on the cake. Seems small, but it will create a lighter, lovelier look. Get a chandelier. You can find an inexpensive one at Home Depot or a hardware store or Target. Don’t wire it yourself. You’ll have to get some help on this part.

Hutch. The hutch is beautiful, but that can come later. Look around for one. Got one that you hate? PAINT IT THE SAME WHITE! Can’t afford one right now? Save up and keep a can of the same white paint handy.

Faux Fur. Need some faux fur for a last little touch? Ikea sells those little ones for like $7 each. I have about 4 of them all over my house. Remove when serving kids dinner in this space! Easily done.

Details. These are important and not to be glossed over. Find some white china – anywhere! Please buy white and do not be tempted by the pink paisley or cute stripes. You are creating a look and patterns will just not do! If you can find antique Ironstore on Etsy or a flea market, perfect. If you can’t and don’t want to spend money on anything fancy then go to Target and buy a few small plates or bowls or any other white serving item. Just a few. An orchid always makes things a bit more special. Trader Joes sells them for $12. Whole Foods has them for $20.

This is a cost effective project that can work wonders in your home. It’s easy and you are more than capable.

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PS – Did you know that REM sleep is the best way to help aliviate a concussion. Bedtime for me is not 7pm. Are we there yet?



  1. Donna Flaherty says:

    I always love ready your blog and following your projects, but this time I actually see how I can totally do this look in my kitchen. I have a hutch similar to this from my mom’s house. My table is square with an oak top white base with a shelf & drawers & chairs. I used ASCP on mom’s old server in my living room, I love working with it but find the finish looks dry & chalky (maybe that’s the intent). My concern with using spray paint on the hutch is it will be too “perfect” looking. Do you have tips about how to get a worn look with spray paint or a more “alive” look with ASCP ? Thanks.

  2. Aurora Saldana says:

    I have been meaning to do this for a long time with all my brown dining room inherited pieces from the 60’s which I love, they were originally an antique white creamy beige Italianate style. My china is cream colored with a gold border, would it look ok with all the white? The dining table top is glass, I’ve been mixing styles for the longest time just getting the colors of the furniture to match but I’m sooo tired of all the light browns and beiges… I want your pallette!

  3. marcia patterson says:

    Thanks so much for the tips on a all white room. I have been trying to put together a all white bedroom. It just was not working. I how think it is the cream color curtains. I love these curtains but they just don’t work. I would never have figure out what was wrong, Thanks again. How you will doing better with your recovery.

  4. Thanks Christen! We bought our first home last year and about a month after moving in I found your blog! You have been my inspiration from the beginning – I must gon your blog atleast 3 times a week if not daily at times! This past weekend I finally painted my formerly black wood dining set in Old White!!! I AM SO INLOVE WITH IT! We have not done any major renovations yet since we wanted to live in the house for a while and get a feel for how we would use the space but I’m starting to get the decorating/remodeling itch so I figured I would start with the dining room set since that is where we eat all our meals – we don’t have an eat in kitchen or island with stools (yet!) The plan is to know down the wall between the kitchen and dining room to make it one big open space and I’m in love with all white, grey and that bleached/worn wood that is very restoration hardward looking and your home is the perfect inspiration! The only room I’m planning on adding some more bold colors to is one of the guests rooms….I’ve always loved crisp white and navy so that room will have an Americana/nautical design but all other spaces will be all light colors – so thank you thank you thank you for all the inspiration! I love your posts and all your videos! Keep up the great work oh and I hope you are feeling beetter!

  5. Wonderful advice! I absolutely love color and quite honestly do not have a white room in my home, BUT, my tastes are changing and I want to go more white. I’m just afraid to dive in. This is a wonderful guide to follow…….thank you!~~Angela

  6. Such a great post!I love how encouraging and empowering this would be to a novice decorator. I will keep this post in mind for future clients.

    Well done. Concussion and you can still write. You are amazing.

  7. Great post! My husband had been planning on building a farm table for me for our bare dining room, but I found out last night I am being gifted a dining table and chairs from a family member that belonged to my husband’s grandmother. I am thinking I might go with an all white dining room now. I will keep you posted. 🙂

    I hope you are feeling better.

  8. Normally I do not learn post on blogs, but I would like to say that this write-up very pressured me to check out and do so!
    Your writing style has been amazed me. Thanks, very great article.

  9. I never doubt white is always right, but it is always the most difficult to maintain also.

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